By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
Peace in the world seems lost as mounting tensions abroad hint that we are on the brink of war. Airports, subways, nuclear plants, hotels, the Versace store on Washington Avenue, and nearly every other public institution in between received new attention after the federal government upgraded the terror alert color to "orange" on February 7. The newly heightened "orange alert" appeared to some in clubland as a Florida citrus threat, but that is another story altogether. We have accepted that it is unfair practice to expect club denizens to keep up with commentary from the likes of Wolf Blitzerand Chris Matthews.In our adult sandbox, it is Belkys Nereyand WSVN-TV'sDeco Drive and "The Buzz,"not MSNBC and CNN,that command our attention in the Southern land of la-la.
Still, with terrorist threats whirling above, the Miami party fun wagon determinedly forges ahead toward new frontiers at warp speeds, impervious to criticism and rumors predicting its downfall, unscathed by lower-class matters of war, starvation, and epidemic. Decadence pilots this vessel, stopping only to take in oh-so-titillating celebrity sightings. All the while, Clubbed keeps pace with the herd of hip sheep, comforted by the belief that a fall from grace won't be from any great moral summit. Glamour, not politics, rules.
The latest concoction of glamour in a flask comes by way of promoter José Ortiz'sThursday-night big to-do at Pure Lounge. Ortiz's new one-nighter, called "Kiss the DJ," is hosted by none other than the "original gal pal" Ingrid Casares. Ortiz effuses that "Kiss the DJ" will feature "celebrity guest DJs." "Celebrity," of course, being used in the most Miami sense of the word -- just about anyone who has ever been photographed in a nightclub. This particular evening finds us in the full-on throes of "advice diva" Tara Solomon's DJ debut. Funkmaster Flexis said to have been anxiously pacing the hallways of New York radio station Hot 97 (WQHT-FM)for fear of replacement (a rumor that Clubbed was unable to confirm at press time). Meanwhile Ortiz works the press like a seasoned public relations vet, vying to land Solomon's girlish grin on the cover of Newsweek and replace the images of party poopers Colin Powelland Donald Rumsfeld.
"Do you have your camera?" he asks. "Tara is wearing headphones!" The announcement is delivered with an excitement only rivaled by that for Neil Armstrong's first giant leap for mankind. Solomon strikes her best pose while standing behind the decks smiling for the star flashers. Bulbs snap and cameras click. Clubbed manages to take a flick or two for the momentous occasion. But this is only the beginning of the ego humpfest.
The impromptu press junket eagerly waits for some fabulous moment to sprout up. All eyes seem to be on Lady Bunny, the founder, producer, and mistress of ceremonies for Wigstock, New York City's Labor Day dragfest. Lady Bunny's larger-than-life persona is barely contained inside the four walls of the swank soiree. Bunny swings about the lounge with a crop-duster's precision, spraying attitude throughout.
SunPost nightlife columnist James "Cubby"shares with Clubbed his most recent blessed encounter with her, in which Lady Bunny was introduced to Nayib Estefan;upon Estefan's insistence that they had previously met, she simply replied, "Have I sucked him off before?" Clubbed takes the cue to suck and swallow one last glass of Merlot and resurface the following night for Ocean Drive magazine's ten-year anniversary party at the Eden Roc Resort.
The anniversary celebration also serves as a ten-year reunion for everyone who was, is, and plans on being a player in South Florida's social scene. The regular attendees are all aglow. Shareef Malnik of the Forge; Roman Jones of Opium Garden; Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland; former Catholic youth minister, former Irene Mariemodel scout, and current self-proclaimed elder statesman of the local scene G. Jack Donahue; celebrated gender illusionist Elaine Lancaster; owner of Mynt, and co-owner of Metro Kitchen and Barat the Astor Hotel, Nicola Siervo;and Grammy-nominated Latin local boy made good Jorge Morenoall make the rounds. And certainly no social event would be complete without Rudolf Pieper, whose current claim as Miami viceroy is based on being "that guy with the ridiculously colorful pants" and "a party fixture whose presence reassures everybody else that they are at the right party at the right time." God bless him.
With an estimated 4000 gathered there is a stockpile of trendy locals, gorgeous models, and fashionistas along with the wealthy men who feed on the beautiful young things. Robert Ziehm, founder of Brandt's Break Mondaysmusical showcase, notices that there aren't many celebrities on hand to ogle over. But who needs celebrities with such a healthy dose of Miami schmooze to substitute?
As the beautiful swans of the evening awkwardly clink about in their tighter-than-skin gowns and stilettos you can hardly help but wonder what the Iraqi women on the other side of the worldare doing on what may be the eve of Allied assault. Ah, but yes, back to more pressing issues like overstuffed breasts and the orgy scene playing out in the larger-than-the-Gulf-Of-Oman pool. Osama bin Ladenwould be nauseated by the spectacle of flesh and we would have it no other way. There are also the powdered noses. The overflowing alcohol from the open bars. More lamb and couscous than you can shake an AK-47 assault rifle at.